July 3, 2007 / 5:46 PM / 12 years ago

Chrysler to recall nearly 81,000 Wranglers, Nitros

DETROIT (Reuters) - Chrysler Group said on Tuesday it would recall almost 81,000 of its new Jeep Wrangler and Dodge Nitro models because of the risk of a defect causing the engine and instrument panel to lose power.

Chrysler said the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had received about 180 complaints of engines stalling in Wrangler and Nitro vehicles.

One accident has been reported in relation to the glitch, but there were no injuries, the automaker said.

The problem has the potential to cause the engine in the sport-utility vehicles to stall, but Chrysler said that the engine would automatically restart if the vehicle was in motion at the time.

Chrysler, in the process of being sold by DaimlerChrysler AG, said it would begin notifying owners about the recall later this week. It said the needed repair work would be completed at no cost to owners.

Under the recall, Chrysler said it would reprogram a power-control module in 80,894 of the vehicles.

The new Jeep Wrangler has been a sell-out hit for Chrysler, which is being taken private by Cerberus Capital Management in a $7.4 billion deal expected to close this month.

Chrysler credited the Wrangler with driving a 19 percent gain in its Jeep brand sales in June in monthly sales results released on Tuesday.

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